Complete 3-part Breathing
Taking a breath of air, which seems to be a very simple action, is an art that requires skills. From all the Yogic breathing exercises, Complete 3-Stage Yogic Breathing is undoubtedly the most important exercise. This king of exercises should constantly be refined and fine-tuned. Complete 3-Stage Yogic Breathing is the base for many other exercises and also functions as a tool for synchronization.
When we are not aware, many of us tend to forget to use all available muscles to inflate our lungs. Shallow and vertical breathing is a sign that the lower part of the lungs is not active, as it should be. Partial breathing is a bit like flying an aircraft that was designed with four engines, but using only three or two of the engines. The aircraft can still fly but not in an optimal manner.
When using a Complete 3-Stage Yogic breathing cycle, we fill the bottom, middle and top part of the lungs. This keeps most of the air-bubbles in our lungs active. Bubbles that we don’t use, after some time, may lose functionality.
The principals of a Complete 3-Stage Yogic Breathing are simple. There are 3 steps
Step 1: inhaling filling the abdomen so it becomes like a watermelon. Lungs are pulled down from the bottom.
Step 2: further inhaling by expanding the rib-cage. Lungs are pulled out from the sides.
Step 3: further inhaling, inflating the very top part of the lungs by expanding the chest. Lungs are pulled up from the top.
Exhaling in reverse order, emptying the top part of the lungs (chest), contracting the rib-cage and finally deflating the bottom of the lungs by pressing the abdomen towards the spine.
For the sake of simplicity and synchronicity, that is, the ability to synchronize full 3-stage breathing with 2-beat exercises or 4-beat exercises, it is convenient to change the count to 2 or 4.
As an example, walking is a 2-beat exercise which is difficult to synchronize with a 3-beat breathing. Therefor conversion is needed.
In a full 2-beat breathing, steps 2 and 3 are unified to inflating the lungs.
Step 1: inhaling filling the abdomen so it becomes like a watermelon.
Step 2: further inhaling by expanding the rib-cage and the very top part of the lungs.
In a full 4-beat breathing, step 1 is divided in mid-abdomen and full abdomen.
Step 1: inhaling filling the abdomen to the middle.
Step 2: further inhaling, filling the abdomen fullest, so it becomes like a watermelon.
Step 3: further inhaling by expanding the rib-cage.
Step 4: further inhaling, inflating the very top part of the lungs.
It is important to master all three rhythms: 3-beat, 2-beat and 4-beat.